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Real estate website idea no one is taking advantage of

Another way to sell online

Real estate websites are relatively predictable. There is a picture of a Realtor, a list of links that go to cities, some pictures of houses, maybe an IDX feed, and probably a mention of “#1 Agent” somewhere on the page. Most are primary colors, text heavy, and boring. Snooze.

For years, we’ve asked a number of agents why they don’t use their website more like an graphic designer? Why not post a portfolio as a website or at least offer it as part of that boring website.

Here is a sample that I whipped up in a few minutes (obviously fake):
Click to enlarge.

The above is a simple modification of the Garnish WordPress theme. It’s minimalist and easy to read.

Many consumers are looking for what we lovingly call “real estate porn” meaning they want big pictures and lots of them, but they want transparency too which doesn’t mean your revealing your checkbook, but does mean your revealing your track record.

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Imagine if you clicked on one of the listings pictured above, and a full screen image popped up that looks like this:

Click to enlarge.

Why this is a different take

Note that at no point does either page say “I’m number one” or “I’m the best” or “I’m awesome” or any subjective term accordingly? No, the focus is on actual transactions done. Consumers have become skeptical and no longer buy the “I’m number one” line, nor do they trust a Realtor simply because their tagline is “Integrity.” Consumers also know that testimonials have become so wildly manipulated by some real estate insiders, that any cheerleading is often overlooked.

Consumers want to know your track record, and showing them in color and giving them reasons to choose you that are not subjective could skyrocket any successful team or agent as consumers click from site to site, finding monotonous websites that blend together. This works for listing and buyer’s agents.

So why not implement a portfolio style page of your currently listed houses, solds and boughts with giant pictures and legitimate stats?

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

46 Comments

46 Comments

  1. Manhattan Beach Agent

    August 1, 2011 at 9:17 am

    Lots of graphics, slide shows, even video are great additions to a real estate site, but I still need to post regular blog articles on locally relevant information, community resources, and other text for key terms for search engine ranking.

    • Bob Wilson

      August 4, 2011 at 8:12 am

      "I still need to post regular blog articles on locally relevant information, community resources, and other text for key terms for search engine ranking."

      This is a myth. It just isnt true.

      • Chris Adam

        August 5, 2011 at 1:26 pm

        Bob, Why is this a myth? I can give many real esttae website examples that show, as a result of blogging (community resources, relevant information..) the SEO value has driven upwards.

        We push our clients to have much nicer websites and our goals are always set on marketing, but I have to disagree with you here, Our clients that blog regularly on our platform or others do better than clients who do not.

        Can you explain why you have heard this is a myth? I am legitimately interested if there is something I am missing about what I perceive.

  2. Joe Loomer

    August 2, 2011 at 5:15 am

    Spot on – but apparently not for a newer agent without that track record….

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  3. Max

    August 2, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Interesting take, but let me play a "devil's advocate" here:

    Your main "edge" or "being different" in your example is basically show what has been sold. Of course, it can be dressed up and worded in any tricky way depending on our imagination (if it's your listing – you want to show you sold it over market price, if it's your buyer, you want to show how much money you saved him etc.) While I don't see it to be much different from "wildly manipulated testimonials", its worth noting that a lot of MLSes don't allow posting sold listings on agent's blogs/websites. I think that's the reason why most (none?) of IDX solutions or feeds don't carry that information in first place. So, what's the takeaway from this post, if we can't publish "solds"?

  4. Andrea Geller

    August 4, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    I am working on a changing it up on my site. Do people really care what we have to say or what they see?

  5. Leah Henderson

    August 4, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    That is a great idea.

  6. Larry Lee

    August 19, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Lani, great post.

    DreamHomeHub.com provides consumers with "real estate porn" and allows them to learn about the home online just as well as they can in person. Not only does it display lots of full-screen, high-quality photos, but it also has interactive floor plans, interactive video, interactive maps, a detailed, compelling description, dimensions, interior and exterior features, inclusions, and area amenities.

    The Ultimate Online Home Tour from Dreamhomehub.com is the revolutionary way for selling real estate in the new decade because it benefits ALL the parties involved in a typical real estate transaction: (1) the seller, (2) the seller’s agent, (3) the buyer, and (4) the buyer’s agent.

    This unique online tour is the iPhone 6 of the real estate industry and lets consumers sell or buy real estate the quick and easy way, saving them money, time, and energy.

    While the internet has changed almost every industry radically for the better, most real estate agents are selling properties as though the internet doesn’t exist. The majority of their marketing is to promote themselves instead of the properties they've been hired to sell.

    The Ultimate Online Home Tour creates the auction effect that will generate the highest number of competing offers for the property… while allowing the sellers to live an almost normal life during the home-selling process.

    Please visit DreamHomeHub.com to see the most advanced technology for selling properties.

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